Health

Gov. Andy Beshear said he will likely extend the statewide mask mandate order that went into effect on July 10 and is set to expire this weekend.

He has credited the face covering requirement for contributing to lower daily counts of positive coronavirus cases in recent days.

On Tuesday, Beshear reported 700 new cases, for a total of at least 32,197 since March. He said there were an addition seven deaths related to COVID-19. Kentucky has now lost 751 people to the disease.

The week-to-week change is lower now than it was in July, when cases at times jumped about 50% in a week.

Beshear said asking people nicely to wear masks did not produce compliance at the needed levels.

“Allowing our retailers to have a very simple ‘no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service’ rule has really improved our overall health and you can see it in our numbers,” he said.

Britainy Beshear, Kentucky’s First Lady, announced a new program aimed at collecting free face coverings for schoolchildren as well as adults who work in schools.

“These donations will help our schools and students be healthy and help ease the additional stress that some face during this time,” she said.

She encouraged mask donations in adult and child sizes, and said being proactive in providing masks will make it safer for schools to reopen in person. Learn more about Coverings for Kids here.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.